Participate in the First Ever Mite-A-Thon

A single Varroa mite infestation can quickly spread and devastate hives across an entire region. Early detection and control are key to supporting honey bee health and preventing catastrophic infestations. That’s why the Honey Bee Health Coalition, which has developed essential Varroa mite resources, is proud to support the first ever Mite-A-Thon.

The Coalition urges beekeepers to participate in this exciting and free event by visiting www.pollinator.org/miteathon. Continue reading

Build native bee nesting sites to attract pollinating bees to your landscape

By Josh Fuder, University of Georgia

When most people think about bees, honeybees and their hives of hexagonal, wax honeycombs come to mind. Unlike most bees, honeybees are social insects. Only 6 percent of bee species are social.

There are approximately 4,000 species of native bees in North America and 542 species live in Georgia. Native bees nest in the ground or in cavities, like hollow stems or bored holes in wood. According to the Xerces Society, only 250 female orchard mason bees are required to pollinate an acre of apples. This same task would typically require 15,000 to 20,000 forager honeybees. Continue reading

Protecting Pollinators in Urban Landscapes – Save the Date

Two years ago Elsa Youngsteadt and Steve Frank from NC State joined forces with Dave SmitleyHeidi Wollaeger, and others from Michigan State University to organize the first national conference related to pollinator conservation in ornamental plant production and urban landscapes. Over 150 people with jobs in research, extension, industry, government, or NGOs spent 3 days in the North Carolina mountains with a lineup of renowned international speakers.

But this conference was not just about listening; it was also about talking and discussing pressing issues such as insecticide safety and habitat conservation. Folks studying bee conservation had dinner with folks from agrochemical companies. Extension folks trying to find real-world pest management solutions had beers with beekeepers and conservationists. Many of these interactions may not have ever happened without this conference. Continue reading

Feed A Bee announces plantings to celebrate National Honey Bee Day

In Morning Ag Clips

Mark your calendars now! August 19 is National Honey Bee Day, and Bayer’s Feed a Bee will be buzzing across the country to plant thousands of wildflowers from New York toCalifornia – all in one day.

Since 2015, the Feed a Bee initiative has distributed over 3 billion wildflower seeds for pollinator plantings, establishing additional nutrition and habitat sources across the nation. This National Honey Bee Day, Feed a Bee will be celebrating with special planting events to add even more to the pollinator gardens at Bethpage State Park in Farmingdale, New YorkNorth Central College in Naperville, Illinois, and thePlacer Land Trust’s School Park Community Garden inAuburn, California. Continue reading

Honey bee populations begin to improve

by Alan Bjerga, Bloomberg

The number of U.S. honeybees, a critical component to agricultural production, rose in 2017 from a year earlier, and deaths of the insects attributed to a mysterious malady that’s affected hives in North America and Europe declined, according a U.S. Department of Agriculture honeybee health survey released Tuesday.

The number of commercial U.S. honeybee colonies rose 3% to 2.89 million as of April 1, 2017, compared with a year earlier, the Agriculture Department reported. The number of hives lost to Colony Collapse Disorder, a phenomenon of disappearing bees that has raised concerns among farmers and scientists for a decade, was 84,430 in this year’s first quarter, down 27% from a year earlier. Year-over-year losses declined by the same percentage in April through June, the most recent data in the survey. Continue reading

Bayer announces 58 “Feed A Bee” Projects

Bayer has  announced 58 projects that will receive funding to establish forage for pollinators across the nation. Nearly 100 projects were submitted in response to the request for proposals for the first round of funding, which were reviewed and evaluated by the inaugural Feed a Bee steering committee.

Through the Feed a Bed program, Bayer is working to establish native pollinator forage in all 50 states before the end of 2018, distributing a total of $500,000 to organizations across the country via a competitive request for proposal  process. The 58 projects funded in this first round represent organizations that span all sectors, including universities, nonprofits, nature conservancies and more, in more than 30 states and Washington, D.C. Awards range  from $1,000 to $5,000. Continue reading

European study shows various results with neonic-honey bee interactions

A study in Europe that tested bee health in neonicotinoid treated fields had different results in two countries, supporting previous statements that bee declines are the result of multiple factors.

The study, which was the largest field study ever conducted on bees and neonics, was featured in Science this past week. Scientists monitored bees in 33 locations in the United Kingdom, Germany and Hungary. Bees in each location were in canola fields, some of which had been treated with neonics and fungicides and others that were treated only with fungicides. Continue reading